How To Flip Watches

Watch flipping means purchasing luxury or valuable watches for reselling and earning profit from it. 

But is there legit money in this method? How do you flip watches anyway to actually make it a profitable endeavor?

Today, I want to teach you strategies on how to flip watches and make great money out of them! Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Watch Flipping 101: Tips to Start Flipping Watches

Research the market demand

To begin your flipping watches business, you first have to know the market demand. You can search “watches” on Google Trends and there you will find the timepieces that people are searching for. 

You may also search on Instagram. Look for hashtags, such as #watches, #fashionwatches, #menswatches, and #womenswatches. Go through the feed to know the watch styles that get the most amount of Instagram likes. 

The third option is to visit the watch wholesale market and watch retail shops. Ask them what styles are popular recently. Compare several watch retail shops first to know that they are indeed telling the truth.

Your next option is to search the influencers and professional watch blogs. Read their post or reach out to them to get the latest popular watch styles. Knowing the styles that the influencers like as well as your target audience will help you become a watch dealer.

Become an authorized watch dealer

Being a watch dealer means you are involved with negotiating prices and buying and selling timepieces for profit. The main benefit of being an authorized dealer is that you can carve your own path and independently make connections to succeed, with no need to spend additional money on qualifications.

But to have your partnership with a watch manufacturer, you need to register your business. Once you get that license, it will be easier to get acknowledged by your buyers and the government as a legit watch dealer.

Buy your first watch

how to flip watches

Set your budget

Even if you have a big capital, I would suggest you start small and then grow that small business. And among the important steps, you have to take is to set your initial investment or your budget.

Whether that’s $500 or a thousand, that’s up to you. And to know how much to purchase a discounted wristwatch for, you should know the actual retail price and then find a watch seller. You can join watch forums online for starters.

If you buy a used watch that needs restoring and repairing, then you have to consider the additional cost before reselling it. However, if the watch is new, then all you need is to flip it for profit.

Buy watches that the general public wants

People have different preferences in watches, but there will be watches that are more popular to the general public than the others. Some of the best watch deals, for instance, include Rolex Submariner, Panerai 88, Audemars Piguet Panda, and Hublot Big Bang.

As soon as you start flipping watches, keep in mind that your best clients will not be the other watch enthusiasts but normal people who want a great deal on owning their dream watch. So on your part buying watches for flipping, it all comes down to resale and the bottom dollar.

Therefore, the more popular models you buy, the better it would be for the wider audiences.

Buy from people, not jewelers

There are thousands of incredible watch deals you can find on the internet but the best ones often come from people who are selling their own watches. Key phrases to use when searching online would be “worn for years but want a new style” or “sad to let it go”. 

Owners of these watches typically are more interested to buy their next watch and have less attachment to the money. The lack of funds requires them to sell a watch and buy another so they are willing to sell their timepieces cheaper and this opens an opportunity for you to flip their loss.

Other places to buy and sell, watches to flip

  • eBay – It may be getting harder and harder to earn profit by watch flipping through eBay but it remains as a large e-commerce platform where you can search for great deals. You can search alerts on your phone based on search queries whenever an item becomes available. The more you are specific with what you’re searching for, the better it would be for you!
  • Chrono24 – This is one of the main actors of the watch market where you can look for nearly 515,000 timepieces from over 120 countries. Would you believe that over a hundred thousand watches are sold through Chrono24 every month? That’s true! And that numbers alone reflect that there are trustworthy and active sellers and users from this platform.
  • WatchRecon – This search engine for private watch sales scans popular timepieces and builds a centralized search index. Well-known watch brands are also featured on this site. These brands include Rolex, Seiko, Helios, Omega, Tag Heuer, and Zenith.

You just have to register as a new user on this platform. The good news is that it is available for download on Android and iOS devices.

  • Facebook MarketPlace – It will be easier to access Facebook MarketPlace if you have a Facebook account. The watches listed on this platform are either brand new or used watches that the seller no longer wants to wear.

The good thing about buying and selling watches to flip through the Facebook MarketPlace is that you can directly contact the seller through their profile or page and ask if they are open to negotiating the prices. This way, you can save more. Just beware of the scammers, though, and report them to  Facebook right away if your negotiation is suspicious.

  • Reddit – Watch flipping has been a hot topic in the Reddit community, particularly the r/Flipping/ page. On this platform, you can share your opinion about flipping watches and also learn what other people think about them. 

Know the parts and repair costs

Making money flipping watches doesn’t have to be difficult. Some may consider it an art, others a means to pay the bills. Regardless of your reason, one way to make serious money buying and selling watches is to know the parts and the repair cost.

This applies not just to mechanical repairs but even to things, like buckles, links, and bands. Dials and bezels can be expensive so they may have to be replaced. Moreover, repair labor can be costly and this often depends on your location, how big of a city you live in, the cost of serving a high-end timepiece (a Rolex watch repair can range from $200 to $1,000), and the availability of the watchmaker.

Have contacts to both buy and sell

Over time, you may have already accumulated many friends and contacts. What you do with them will be up to you. If you value those contacts, then remember them or drive more people to your inner circle through them whether your goal would be for professional reasons or friendships.

These contacts would also be useful when you start flipping watches. You can apply as a watch dealer to the watch companies you plan to have a partnership with by sending them online or visiting their website. 

You can also use search keywords, like “watch distributor” or “watch retailer” on the search engine. You’d be surprised to see thousands of watch auctions and watch manufacturers!

Establishing your connections with the industry people

If you’re new to the watch game, one of the best strategies to sell watches online is to establish your relationship with the industry people. It’s an important asset in your business. So, make friends with the watch manufacturer, watch repair owner, and watch supplier. 

Price your watches correctly

Pricing your products, whether that’d be vintage watches or luxury watches, is probably the toughest thing to do when you start to flip watches. But once you get it right, it will create the foundation for your business to prosper.

On the other hand, if you get your pricing strategy wrong, it could create a problem for your flipping business and it may be difficult to overcome. Certain key factors to price your watches correctly include pinpointing your target customer, understanding the relationship between the price and the quality of the watches, and tracking how much competitors are charging.

Be professional with your product/ products

One of the secrets to selling watches is to equip yourself with knowledge about the product you are selling. This means knowing the features, models, types, and structure of the watches to help you identify if it’s fake or not. 

Equipping yourself with enough knowledge about timepieces likewise creates an opportunity for you to identify such watches that have more potential resale value. In addition, you should pay attention to your posts on social media platforms because they also reveal your reliability.

So, try your best to share your watch knowledge and expertise with your target audience. You could even gain clients when people come to you for help fixing a broken glass or a mechanism in a watch. Once you build rapport with people, it will become a beautiful relationship.

Make sure not to go overboard

The business of flipping watches entails building your capital. But as much as possible, avoid going overboard.  Put in the money based on your risk tolerance and your capital. Some focus on watches that are priced between $5,000 to $10,000 because these timepieces are in the sweet spot for demand.

As you increase volume, listings, and profits, you can upgrade to higher boutique brands, like Breitling, Tag, and Omega. And as much as possible, avoid wearing all the pieces all the time. Don’t make the mistake of wearing your timepiece in hot conditions because it could cause sweat to damage a leather band or you may accidentally hit the watch that will cause bezel swirls.

Just wear the watches a minimal amount of time and keep them carefully where theft and damage are minimized. By taking care of your watches, you are more likely to multiply profits once you decide to sell them.

how to flip watches

Excited to purchase watches with high potential investments? Check out below the list of the most popular watches for flipping. 

Rolex watches

All sports models from Rolex make a great option for watch flipping. People tend to purchase a Rolex because it is a timepiece that appears to hold value, exudes luxury, bears a lot of history, and communicates life success or a level of career. 

Casio watches

One of the best buys in the market today from the Casio brand is the popular G-shock watch collection. Just by hearing the brand name, it already guarantees that you’ll earn money out of it. G-shocks are built with a plethora of features and they are also durable, the reasons why the military and the outdoor type of people prefer this watch collection.

[Related post: Most Durable Watches – Top 7 Tough Watches]

Patek Phillippe watches

Patek Phillippe timepieces are incredibly popular for watch enthusiasts because of the brand’s rich history, technical brilliance, and strong market performance. An incredible level of craftsmanship likewise goes into creating Patek Phillippe watches.

Every technique and style is meticulously carried out with exceptional craftsmanship and genuine artistry. From the inlays to setting precious stones and enamel painting, the process of creating Patek Phillippe watches involves various artisan processes that make them more special. 


Smartwatches have been one of the most preferred watches by today’s generation. Together with new styles and models that fit every adventurous activity that people take, smartwatches continue to show efficiency and swag for the community.

Plus, there has been an increasing awareness of maintaining a healthy lifestyle nowadays. So, it’s a good idea to consider buying smartwatches for flipping.

Build a Successful Watch Business!

A lot to read, I know. However, I hope you find these tips on how to flip watches helpful. Once you learn these strategies, you can definitely make money and enjoy the process too!

I wish you luck and happy flipping!

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